First Lady Inaugural Gowns

Discover the story behind South Dakota's first ladies and the gowns they wore to their husbands' inauguration
First Lady Inaugural Gowns


$6.00, Paperback
ISBN: 9780984650576

The second South Dakota Historical Society Press Chapbook

The First Lady Inaugural Gowns display is one of the most popular stops for visitors to the South Dakota State Capitol, and with good reason: inaugurations are parties, and ladies' dresses are (often) the most elegant aspect of such grand events!

This chapbook contains photographs of the replica gowns, as well as a biography and photograph of each first lady from Margaret Mellette to Linda Daugaard. The current exhibit, located on the ground floor, was dedicated on 24 February 1989 as part of the South Dakota centennial celebration.

What is a chapbook?
Five hundred years ago in England, street sellers known as chapmen began selling small books, pamphlets, treaties, and manifestos. These publications, usually numbering thirty to sixty pages, became extrememly popular with the average (literate) citizen. Quickly, the little books took the name "chapbooks" in homage to those who sold them.